Mac Touch Concept Rendering

Can't keep a good iTablet rumor down, can you?

While Windows-based tablets have never successfully penetrated the mainstream market, a vocal contingent have long been clamoring for an Apple Tablet (iTablet, MacBook Touch, Safari Pad, etc.). Modbook rolls their own and Alex Lindsay of PixelCorps/MacBreak Weekly fame contemplated making one himself. Heck, even TechCrunch wants a FrankenLinFox pad!

Will we ever see it? We know Apple has it in the R&D shop. Heck, the iPhone runs software originally conceived of for "Safari Pad". Steve Jobs has said he's just as proud of of some things Apple hasn't released. If it wasn't right for Apple before, is it now? Only Jobs knows for sure, but MacDailyNews (via Gizmodo) is beating the rumor drum again:

Think MacBook screen, possibly a bit smaller, in glass with iPhone-like, but fuller-featured Multi-Touch. Gesture library. Full Mac OS X. This is why they bought P.A. Semi. Possibly with Immersion's haptic tech. Slot-loading SuperDrive. Accelerometer. GPS. Pretty expensive to produce initially, but sold at "low" price that will reduce margins. Apple wants to move these babies. And move they will. This is some sick shit. App Store-compatible, able to run Mac apps, too. By October at the latest.In all honesty, we may have passed this story up, but we've heard vague reports from reliable sources that Quanta is busy building a touch product for Apple. This latest information seems seems to compliment what we've heard.

Sounds like much more of a MacBook Air cannibalizer than over-sized iPod Touch to me, but with Mobile OS X and App Store well on their way to becoming the next great computing platform, who knows how fast and hard Apple wants to seize that high ground?